This news item expired on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 so the information below could be outdated or incorrect.
National Public Safety Telecommunications Week is April 9-15, and Buncombe County is celebrating by profiling some of our 911 dispatch team. The demands of Public Safety Telecommunications make it a challenging and rewarding job. Being the first, first responder takes a special type of person, and Buncombe County is proud to highlight some of our amazing 911 staff in their own words. Thanks to all our Public Safety Telecommunicators for your dedication to helping keep our community safe.
Interested in joining the County’s Public Safety Telecommunications Team? Click here for more information.
Name: Jonathan Lewis
Years as a Public Safety Telecommunicator: 1.5 years with Asheville Police Communications and a bit over a year with Buncombe County Communications.
What made you want to become a Public Safety Telecommunicator?
Working with people, talking to people, helping people during moments of crisis in their life. I enjoy working in an office environment and answering phone lines.
What is your favorite part of the job?
Providing a person with support and relief knowing that they called 911 and I am going to help provide them with services to get them to a better place. Working with law enforcement and managing radio traffic. I love being the “guy in the chair.”
What is a misconception about your job?
A lot of friends and family members question the aspects of stress from the job. In contrast to popular understanding, I find the stress to be manageable because over time you get incredibly used to the critical and emergent moments of the job. The issue develops in getting so used to the job that it can make more moments of your personal life feel mundane and boring. It becomes a balance to manage the adrenaline of the job with a “normal life.”
What would you like the public to know about your job?
We are human too, we may need you to slow down, breathe a moment, spell out the address or repeat yourself to get all the correct information we need during a call. In addition, whenever you call, location is always the highest priority; if we can get any information, it must be the location of the emergency.